C&P#51: big personal news with AJEM + calling all cannabinoid & psychedelic scientists & doctors
Kentucky & the NBA join the civilized world + the world does not
Big news for me + a call to cannabinoid & psychedelic scientists:
I'm happy to announce that I'm starting to work with the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine (AJEM). Besides writing, I will start producing a video interview series with scientists who are releasing their results at upcoming conferences. So if you are a cannabinoid or psychedelic scientist who will have a poster or talk at a conference this year to share your new results, let me know if you'd be interested in being interviewed & we can help spread the word about your work. (Bonus points if it's at a mainstream medical conference)
AJEM was recently acquired by Haymarket Media Group/Haymarket Medical Network & this means that your interview will go out to over 100k doctors. And we'll be happy to link back to your professional site & any other links online that you'd like to highlight. Reach out to me if you’d like to be interviewed about your research: email@example.com
To all of the new subscribers flooding in from LinkedIn, welcome! I’m Lex Pelger & I produce educational content for cannabinoid & psychedelic companies. I also offer education sessions for both patients & healthcare professionals about using CBD, cannabis & psychedelics for your health as well as creating employee trainings. Plus, check out my graphic novel series about cannabis based on Moby Dick & my YouTube channel.
Welcome to the 51st edition of Cannabinoids & the People. This newsletter collects all the new cannabinoid science each week. You can check out last week’s issue here & if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do.
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And as always, here’s the Living Glossary of Cannabinoid Terms & at the bottom is the album of the week.
CBD’s help for the locomotion problems of epilepsy
Cannabinoids & your hippocampus. “Memory is the treasury & guardian of all things- Cicero”
For surgical outcomes for cannabis users, two good & one bad
CBD has little effect on your boozing
Hemp seeds for depression & anxiety
Researchers love scraping Twitter
Lasers, hemp stalks & solar cells
Massive biblio-red flags at the DEA Museum
A Tibetan frame for psychedelic therapy
Enjoy this free offering from my company White Whale Creations.
I produce educational content for cannabis & psychedelic companies: writing, science archives, social media content, newsletters & podcasts.
In my EU report for Weed Talk News: French program runs out of CBD oil + Denmark pilot program falters
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Anandamide; or, the People: my graphic novel series on cannabis, the endocannabinoid system & the War on Drugs based on Moby-Dick
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Sponsor: PlusCBD’s New Reserve gummy with 5 mg of THC
Last week we published a clinical report on a chronic neuropathic pain patient who lessened her pregabalin use with a THC/CBD oil. The extract she used was not particularly strong & her doses only ranged from a twice-daily amount of 1 mg THC/1.5 mg CBD up to 5 mg THC/7.5 mg CBD. But that was enough to lower her pregabalin use by 90% (and its unpleasant side effects). The report with “the patient now feels she has ‘been given a second chance at life’ and her husband describes her as ‘a new woman’. This patient feels that she is in a position to finally stop treatment with pregabalin, as a result of medical cannabis controlling her pain.”
I share this story because CV Sciences just launched a new PlusCBD product: a Reserve gummy with 25 mg of CBD and 5 mg of THC. It is an ideal way for people nervous about medical cannabis to utilize the power of cannabinoids for their health. I’ve collected reams of studies on how just 5 mg of THC in a full-spectrum extract can benefit patients suffering from many different conditions. For most people, 5 mg of THC is in that sweet spot just below where you will feel any notable psychoactive effects – but enough that it will help with healing, mental balance & stimulating your endocannabinoid system.
This is why I’m proud to have had CV Sciences as my sole sponsor for the first year of this newsletter. They continue to create innovative products that I know I can recommend with trust. If you’re looking for a well-made full-spectrum extract or for an ideal way to ingest the right amount of THC, check out the excellent PlusCBD product line.
Best Of Cannabinoid Science...
‘Mental Health & The CB2 Receptor’ by Nate Seltenrich
In an observational study from Australia's medical cannabis program ‘project Twenty21’, medical cannabis “was associated with substantial improvements in self-reported quality of life, general health, mood/depression and sleep” & with only 3 adverse events out of 278 participants
Preliminary findings from project Twenty21 Australia: An observational study of patients prescribed medicinal Cannabis for chronic pain, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis
A review of 51 clinical trials on CBD find the usual list of adverse events: “diarrhea, somnolence, sedation, and upper respiratory disturbances”
Update on Cannabidiol Clinical Toxicity and Adverse Effects: a Systematic Review
“Clinical data suggest that CBD is well tolerated and associated with few serious AEs at therapeutic doses both in children and adults. However, interactions with other medications [such as such as clobazam and valproate] should be monitored.”
And in a review of EU data on CBD for epilepsy, the most serious adverse events were epilepsy aggravation, hepatic disorders, lack of efficacy & somnolence.
Pharmacovigilance on cannabidiol as an antiepileptic agent
Advice on using the cannabinoids for treating the neuropathic pain of diabetes
Consideration of cannabinoids in the treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain
In humans, eating hemp seeds three times a day reduced scores for depression & anxiety
The effects of hemp seed consumption on depression, anxiety and cognitive improvement based on machine learning
CBG seems to be a reliable biomarker of recent cannabis smoking
The minor cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) is a highly specific blood biomarker of recent cannabis smoking
A certain genetic variant of the CB1 receptor may be linked to depression because of its different modulatory effect on serotonin
Endocannabinergic modulation of central serotonergic activity in healthy human volunteers
A review of why CBD is so protective of the brain
Neuroprotective potential of cannabidiol: Molecular mechanisms and clinical implications
And a review of the cannabinoids & terpenes for neuropathology & traumatic brain injury
Cannabinoids in traumatic brain injury and related neuropathologies: preclinical and clinical research on endogenous, plant-derived, and synthetic compounds
I can't wait to write this neuroprotection chapter in my graphic novel series. A team of heroic Indian & African elephants, Frankenstein elephants & flying elephants rushing into neural cities to save the day from inflammation & villainous attacks…
(prompt: DALL-E, draw a team of commando elephants in superhero costumes.)
A review of the endocannabinoids, synaptic plasticity & fear extinction learning (a component of PTSD) as well as the complex web with glutamate & adrenaline
Neuropharmacological Modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate, Noradrenaline and Endocannabinoid Receptors in Fear Extinction Learning: Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity
A review of how the endocannabinoid system regulates the hippocampus (memory center)
Endocannabinoid regulation of hippocampus-dependent memory
A review of using CBD for skin conditions & cosmetics (nice chart)
Skin applications of cannabidiol: sources, effects, delivery systems, marketed formulations and safety
A review of sperm creation & testicular cancer via the endocannabinoid system
Endocannabinoid system and epigenetics in spermatogenesis and testicular cancer
You're not going to like it, but cannabis certainly seems to reduce male fertility & public health data suggests it also increases testicular cancer rates.
In a mouse model of epilepsy, CBD change the levels of over 100 metabolites in the hippocampus (memory center of the brain)
The Potential Mechanism of Cannabidiol (CBD) Treatment of Epilepsy in Pentetrazol (PTZ) Kindling Mice Uncovered by Multi-Omics Analysis
“In conclusion, CBD ameliorates epilepsy by acting on the metabolism, calcium signaling pathway, and tuberculosis pathways in the hippocampus.”
In a mouse model of PTSD, using CBD nanovesicles with ultrasound to help them across the blood-brain barrier for targeted brain delivery
Cannabidiol-loaded biomimetic macrophage membrane vesicles against post-traumatic stress disorder assisted by ultrasound
I love these sci-fi inventions.
An evergreen note on reading restricted papers:
First stop for seeing if there’s a free version of a paper, use the Google Scholar Chrome extension (Mac version), Google Scholar itself or try ResearchGate.
Three other helpful browser extensions are: Unpaywall, Open Access Button & PaperPanda
For the infamous backdoor, use Sci-Hub – the pirated papers repository (Chrome extension here). This works better for older paper than the stuff that just came out.
For Twitter users, send a Tweet of the paper’s title with the hashtag #icanhazpdf. It works because people are beautiful(ish).
Finally, email the author. They’re almost always happy to oblige because, thanks to the predatory academic publishing system, they don’t make a dollar off of their papers.
the Headlines & Fav Articles
Kentucky becomes the 38th state with a medical cannabis law
I like this Andy Beshear character. Marijuana Moment has been highlighting many of his quotes lately & he seems to be making the right noises.
The NBA will lift its cannabis ban & will allow players to partner with & invest in cannabis brands
This allows the league to maintain its position as the most progressive of the major sports associations.
Millennial & Gen Z shoppers account for the majority of all cannabis sales in the US (63%) & Canada (72.1%)
In New Mexico, the state made $300M in the first year
I don’t think this should be celebrated. With cannabis companies hemorrhaging money, partially because of over-taxation & lousy regulatory schemes, the only winners in legalization are the states who slap a gouging vice tax on a useful medicinal plant that should never have been illegal in the first place.
California is losing cannabis farms by the hundreds because of issues like those mentioned above
“Low wholesale prices and high taxes have made it almost impossible for operators to run a profitable small business, pot industry insiders say.”
An analysis of Canadian news coverage on cannabis finds a positive shift
Rollin’ papers Newspaper coverage of cannabis legalization in Canada
Germany is going to scale back their cannabis reforms after an EU review
Republican tweet of the week:
“The argument for the legalization of cannabis is not whether it is good or bad, but rather what best balances the costs and benefits. I think it is better to have a regulated product with known ingredients bought from a legitimate business and taxes to offset any harm caused versus street drugs that just fund drug dealers and cartels. Just like alcohol, prohibition doesn’t stop the use, it just funds violence and destroys faith in government. Ending prohibition is consistent with support of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty.”
The War on Drugs & Prohibition
A report from Harm Reduction International shows an increase in worldwide executions for drug convictions - by Alexander Lekhtman
“The nonprofit started tracking global drug executions in 2007. The worst year recorded was 2015, when it counted 755 people put to death for drug convictions. The numbers dropped dramatically for a few years, going under 100 by 2018, only to rise again. Then in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, such executions fell to the lowest figure recorded, at 30. A political reform in Saudi Arabia and civil legal resistance in Singapore also helped to cut the number that year. But progress was short-lived. In 2021, the executions surged again, to 131. And that trend continued into 2022. By December 2022, HRI counted 285 people executed for drug convictions that year.”
The US Sentencing Commission approves guidelines to allow judges to treat cannabis possession more leniently
But the Department of Justice rejected allowing home confinement for people with drug convictions
Most drug treatment courts do not have clear cannabis policies & the majority ban the use of medical cannabis
Marijuana Policies in Drug Treatment Courts
The DEA plans to place 6 synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule 1
Idaho’s Health Department getting sued for its policy of putting pregnant women with a positive cannabis test on the Child Protection Central Registry
The former head of Michigan’s medical cannabis licensing board has pleaded guilty to accepting $110,000 in bribes for industry licenses
‘Mob-style killings shock Netherlands into fighting descent into ‘narco state’’
In older drivers, past year cannabis use associated with increased traffic stops but not increased motor vehicle crashes
Associations of cannabis use with motor vehicle crashes and traffic stops among older drivers: AAA LongROAD study
In Colorado, I heard a cop say that for drunks, you look for swerving. For stoners, you look for people stopped at green lights.
In a review of 101 studies on screening tests for cannabis use while driving, oral fluids showed the most promise for the roadside screening of blood THC levels over the legal limit
Roadside screening tests for cannabis use: A systematic review
I have a horrid fascination with the video updates from the DEA Museum
This one makes me chuckle because they’re wearing white gloves for handling these precious old DEA manuals – but anyone in the rare book world knows that wearing gloves is a massive red flag.
Business & Law
A review of the state variations in regulations on THC levels, possession caps & contaminant testing
Statewide Variation in Cannabinoid Regulations
And an analysis of different marketing strategies & regulatory compliance methods
Cannabis retailer marketing strategies and regulatory compliance: A surveillance study of retailers in 5 US cities
And a review of sexualized cannabis advertisements
The impact of sexual scripts in brand-generated cannabis social media posts on sex-related cannabis expectancies: Does body appreciation moderate effects?
An analysis of the growth of the Canadian legal cannabis market
Access to legal cannabis market in Canada over the four years following non-medical cannabis legalization
The ‘Trust in Testing Certification’ launched by SC Labs & ACT Laboratories
Charlotte's Web teams up with British American Tobacco to seek FDA approval for a proprietary full spectrum hemp extract botanical drug
Psychedelics, Plant Medicines & Other Psychoactives
Psychoactive plant alkaloids (speed & deliriants) found in Bronze Age community from 1000 BCE
Direct evidence of the use of multiple drugs in Bronze Age Menorca (Western Mediterranean) from human hair analysis
Ephedrine is speed. Atropine & scopolamine are deliriants. And if you mix them all together, usually extracted in some kind of alcohol made from fermented fruit, why you have quite the time.
Great apes get high by spinning
Great apes reach momentary altered mental states by spinning
Two things to note here. One is that my toddler just reached that age where she likes to get high by spinning, and I believe that the apple might not have fallen far from the tree.
Also, if there's one thing consistent in the study of human psychoactivity, it's that we always did things earlier than the current evidence shows. As I saw one recent commenter say, where there's culture, there's drugs. And great apes have both.
A federal judge agreed with the IRS to deny tax-exempt status to an Iowa ayahuasca church
Who gets to decide what’s a religion?
The NIH is starting a Psychedelic Science & Medicine Interest Group. Jane Hu interviews the two founders
A well-written article on the dangers of ketamine through the lens of the Queer scene
“I spent the first 16 years of my career trying to convince people to use this tool,” says Raquel Bennett, a psychologist who has studied the drug since 2002. “I spent the last four telling people to stop and exercise restraint.”
Let it be known, I think ketamine is one of the most fantastic new tools of psychiatry – but it’s a double-edged sword with a profound liability to addiction. It’s my most addictive substance & I’ve seen my own versions of the sad story shared in this piece. But as Alex Belser says, what this really teaches us is the need for community & taking care of each other while we work out our best practices together.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine made a podcast episode on psychedelics for depression
A Tibetan framework for psychedelic assisted therapy
View, meditation, action: A Tibetan framework to inform psychedelic-assisted therapy
The Psychoactive Research
[This isn’t a deep dive into all of the science of psychedelics & other psychoactives like I do for the cannabinoids. If a newsletter with all that new science would be of interest to your company or organization, reach out to me]
A breakdown of the new DMT brain scanning study by Dr. Andrew Gallimore
Only small therapeutic effects of ayahuasca on narcissistic personality traits
Examining the Therapeutic Effect of Ceremonial Ayahuasca on Narcissistic Personality and Antagonistic Externalizing in Adults
A single dose of psilocybin for body dysmorphic disorder
Pilot study of single-dose psilocybin for serotonin reuptake inhibitor-resistant body dysmorphic disorder
A double-blind trial of LSD microdosing find it to be safe though with a risk of anxiety & while positive mood effects were found they were not “not sufficient to promote enduring changes to overall mood or cognition”
Acute mood-elevating properties of microdosed LSD in healthy volunteers: a home-administered randomised controlled trial
“The most notable reported adverse event was treatment-related anxiety, prompting the withdrawal of four participants from the LSD group. Daily questionnaires showed credible evidence (>99% posterior probability) of improved ratings of creativity, connectedness, energy, happiness, irritability, and wellness on dose days relative to non-dose days, which persisted when controlling for pre-intervention expectancy. No questionnaire or cognitive task showed a credible change between baseline and six-week assessment time-points.”
Repeated ketamine infusions for depression with borderline personality disorder
Real world effectiveness of repeated ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant depression with comorbid borderline personality disorder
“Patients with TRD [treatment-resistant depression] and comorbid BPD [borderline personality disorder] receiving ketamine exhibited a significant reduction in symptoms of depression, borderline personality, suicidality, and anxiety.”
A positive trial of Small Pharma’s DMT for depression
The Plant & the History
A review of the best way to breakdown cannabis buds for later therapeutic use
"Breaking bud": the effect of direct chemical modifications of phytocannabinoids on their bioavailability, physiological effects, and therapeutic potential
Growing & Farming
In sandy soil, using microbial inoculations & rock mineral fertilizer to improve yield & nutrient uptake
Microbial consortium inoculant and rock mineral fertiliser differentially improved yield and nutrient uptake of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) varieties
How to use ultrasonic extraction to get CBD from hemp leaves
Process Optimization of the Method of Ionic Liquid Assisted Ultrasonic Extraction of Cannabidiol from Industrial Hemp Leaves
On creating hemp biochar for use in soils
Assessment of hemp hurd-derived biochar produced through different thermochemical processes and evaluation of its potential use as soil amendment
On using lasers to turn hemp stalks into solar cell ingredients
Nano-Biocomposite Materials Obtained from Laser Ablation of Hemp Stalks for Medical Applications and Potential Component in New Solar Cells
A brain-focused review of cannabinoids & the endocannabinoid system
A new book: “Cannabis sativa Cultivation, Production, and Applications in Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics”
On using language models to find tweets making claims about CBD for COVID-19
Detecting Tweets Containing Cannabidiol-Related COVID-19 Misinformation Using Transformer Language Models and Warning Letters From Food and Drug Administration: Content Analysis and Identification
And another Twitter scraping paper on concept drift and historical cannabis tweets
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Misinformation and Concept Drift in Historical Cannabis Tweets
Clinical Studies & Surveys
A review of why individuals have such a different response to cannabis products
An Individuality of Response to Cannabinoids: Challenges in Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis Products
“Based on the literature review, we found that the response to cannabis products depends on exposure factors (delivery route, duration, frequency, and interactions with food and drugs), individual factors (age, sex), and susceptibility factors (genetic polymorphisms of cannabinoid receptor gene, N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing enzymes, THC-metabolizing enzymes, and epigenetic regulations). Owing to the individuality of responses, the safest way to use cannabis-containing food products is to start low, go slow, and stay low.”
In US military veterans, the last ten years has seen a strong rise in their medical cannabis use, especially among the older generations, and almost 10% now report use within the past year
National Trends in Past-Year Marijuana Use among Veterans in the United States, 2013-2019
Prior to drinking alcohol, consuming oral CBD has little effect on breath alcohol levels or the subjective effects of alcohol
Consuming oral cannabidiol prior to a standard alcohol dose has minimal effect on breath alcohol level and subjective effects of alcohol
Mental Health, Sleep & Addiction
In people coming to the ER with psychosis, positive urinary THC screens are associated with the higher use of physical restraints as well as more antipsychotic & benzodiazepine administration but not associated with more in-patient hospitalizations or the risk of returning within 90 days
Cannabis use among patients presenting to the emergency department for psychosis: Associations with restraint use, medication administration, psychiatric hospitalization, and repeat visits
A case study of panic attacks after 10 years of chronic cannabis use
A Case of Panic Attacks Developing After 10 Years of Chronic Cannabis Use in a Patient With No Prior Psychiatric History
A review of cannabinoids for depression & anxiety find that there's not yet very good evidence
Endocannabinoid System and Exogenous Cannabinoids in Depression and Anxiety: A Review
A review on the potential of the cannabinoids as antipsychotics
Endocannabinoid Degradation Enzyme Inhibitors as Potential Antipsychotics: A Medicinal Chemistry Perspective
In psychosis vulnerability, the interaction between cannabis, attachment & trauma
The interaction between attachment, trauma and cannabis in creating vulnerability for psychosis
The Brain & its Diseases
In infants with drug resistant epilepsy, CBD was an effective & safe drug to add to their treatment regimen
Cannabidiol Add-On in Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-Related Drug-Resistant Epilepsy
In adults with a rare epilepsy, CBD improved their stability & postural tone, perhaps via the brain’s locomotor centers
Highly purified cannabidiol improves stability and postural tone in adult patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome: a case series
In a mouse model of a heart attack, activating the CB1 receptor protected from injuries to their hippocampus (memory center of the brain) by reducing inflammation & oxidative stress
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist WIN55, 212-2 Attenuates Injury in the Hippocampus of Rats after Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest
In a mouse hippocampus (memory center of the brain), drugs to treat HIV significantly increased their levels of CB1 receptors
GP120 and tenofovir alafenamide alter cannabinoid receptor 1 expression in hippocampus of mice
In rats, the endocannabinoid system helps to balance synaptic transmission in the lateral habenula (the anti-reward system of the brain & important for mental health)
Opposing retrograde and astrocyte-dependent endocannabinoid signaling mechanisms regulate lateral habenula synaptic transmission
A machine learning analysis of available drugs suggests the use of THC for Parkinson's disease
Machine learning study: from the toxicity studies to tetrahydrocannabinol effects on Parkinson's disease
Harms, Cannabis Use Disorder & Street Synthetics
In people with cannabis use disorder, trauma changes the amygdala’s reaction to cannabis cues
Trauma exposure among cannabis use disorder individuals was associated with a craving-correlated non-habituating amygdala response to aversive cues
Delta-8 THC poisoning in two children
Unintentional ingestion of putative delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol by two youth requiring critical care: a case report
A test of the gateway hypothesis finds it unlikely
Direct Effects of Cannabis Intoxication on Motivations for Softer and Harder Drug Use: An Experimental Approach to the Gateway Hypothesis
Hormones, Reproduction & Maternal Effects
In children exposed to cannabis in the womb, they had less beneficial effects from sleep on their behavioral problems
The beneficial effect of sleep on behavioral health problems in youth is disrupted by prenatal cannabis exposure: A causal random forest analysis of Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development data
In skin tests, the effects of CBD as an antioxidant & for anti-wrinkle
Structural Optimization of Cannabidiol as Multifunctional Cosmetic Raw Materials
A study on cannabis & cancer pain is behind a paywall #fuckthissystem
Perceived Safety and Effectiveness of Cannabis and Other Types of Pain Treatments Among Adults with Chronic Noncancer Pain in U.S. States with Medical Cannabis Programs
In a study of cancer cells, cannabinoids were more potent at slowing cell growth when there was no fetal bovine serum present, suggesting that the current tests in petri dishes may be tainted by the cell growth medium & the presence of plastic
Cannabinoids as Potential Cancer Therapeutics: The Concentration Conundrum
Pain, Inflammation & Surgeries
In bariatric surgery, heavy cannabis use associated with a higher risk of complications & extended length of stay
Severe Cannabis use is Associated with Complications and Prolonged Length of Stay in Bariatric Surgery
In total hip arthroplasty, cannabis use does not affect surgical outcomes
Cannabis Use Does Not Affect Outcomes After Total Hip Arthroplasty
This student thesis finds that in breast reconstruction surgery, cannabis use appears to have no impact on surgical outcomes
Effects of Marijuana Use in Patients Undergoing Abdominal Free Flap Breast Reconstruction
An ER's report on cardiovascular symptoms after acute cannabis intoxication
Incidence of cardiovascular symptoms and adverse events following self-reported acute cannabis intoxication at the emergency department: a retrospective study
A review of 10 studies on cannabis & liver health
Analytic Cannabis Effect on Hepatic Steatosis and Hepatic Fibrosis: A Meta-Analytic Evaluation
In a female rat model of overactive bladder, activating the CB1 receptor helped with both depression & overactive bladder symptoms
The Cannabinoid Ligand Arachidonyl-2'-Chloroethylamide (ACEA) Ameliorates Depressive and Overactive Bladder Symptoms in a Corticosterone-Induced Female Wistar Rat Model
A genome study finds that a certain variant of the CB2 receptor may be involved in the development of diabetic kidney disease because of its relation to insulin resistance & inflammation
A genome-wide association study identifies a possible role for cannabinoid signalling in the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease
A review of how the structures of the cannabinoids affect their therapeutic uses & antimicrobial activity
Biosynthesis of Phytocannabinoids and Structural Insights: A Review
Creating new molecules to bind the CB2 receptor with a radioactive tracer so we can see where they go
Development of the High-Affinity Carborane-Based Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 PET Ligand [18F]LUZ5- d8
In our Neural Ocean metaphor, this is like putting a glow stick on a whale to see which clubs it parties at.
PS: For this week’s rockabilly steel guitar, the fantastic Speedy West’s ‘Guitar Spectacular’.